What are tertiary aromas/flavors in wine?
A. Aromas and flavors that come at the end of a sip, right before you swallow or spit the wine
B. The three main aromas/flavors in any given glass of wine; these are the most important aromas and flavors to pay attention to
C. The aromas/flavors in a wineglass that hover in the airspace above the wine before the wine is swirled
D. Aromas/flavors that result from aging a wine
When analyzing wine, professionals often split aromas/flavors into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary aromas and flavors come from the grape itself or natural factors in the vineyard. Pinot noir, for example, often displays the primary aromas/flavors of red cherries, strawberries, and a certain earthiness. Secondary aromas and flavors come from winemaking. The smell and flavor of oak in chardonnay is a secondary aroma/flavor that results from fermentation or aging in oak barrels. Similarly, the aroma and flavor of bread dough in Champagne is a secondary aroma/flavor that results from long aging on lees. Tertiary aromas and flavors are those that come from time. After, say, ten years, a great cabernet sauvignon no longer smells or tastes simply of cassis or other primary aromas/flavors. It takes on almost impossible-to-describe aromas and flavors that result from molecules in wine coalescing over time into whole new compounds.